As I walked, crunching the gravel beneath my feet, I was supposed to listen. That was the task we were all assigned. To listen. So I did. The feet that tripped on the stones, the feet that shuffled with anxiety, the synthetic noise of winter jackets moving, sniffles in the cold, silence. We had stopped at a lake. The ripples were created a waterfall sound and the rain was playing drums on the ripples.
“We all have stories. They are meant to be told and they are meant to be heard.“
I shared my life story with 22 other people who judged me in that instant. About who I was, my values, my beliefs. It isn’t easy telling your life story. It isn’t easy telling any story! You must be careful to use the right perspective, to paint a picture that would do the story, YOUR story, some justice. You must be confident in your story.
I have barely finished university and I was to tell the story of my life. Did I do it any justice? Was the picture I painted my life? Was it really just that? I could have describe a million facets of my life and my life’s story would still not have been told. But it’s funny the stories we tell when we are given 5 minutes to tell them. It’s even more funny the stories we tell when we are given 1 minute. We tend to pick those aspects of our life that mean the most to us. And that’s exactly what I and 22 other people in that circle did.
There is something bewildering about 23 people entrusting the story of their life to each other. No, this isn’t just sharing. It is entrusting a narrative that is extremely important to the memories of 22 other people to honor. To help each other continue our stories and be a part of our stories.
There is something magical about 23 people in a circle.
I now know the stories of 22 other people. They may be life stories, they may be stories of the past year. But I now hold in my memory the most important aspects of 22 other people that I just met barely 60 hours ago.
There is something dangerous and something beautiful about that. I have risked judgement to lay my strengths, weaknesses and insecurities out for 22 other people. I now know that 22 other people, just like me, have their strengths, weaknesses and insecurities.
That is my story for today.